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Running short of concrete, Gazans build mud homes

IBRAHIM BARZAK Associate Press
Running short of concrete, Gazans build mud homes - Israel - Building - Construction

The dirt under Yousef Hamida's feet has become an unlikely resource: He is using it to build a home, a result of Israel's refusal to allow construction materials into the Gaza Strip.

The farmer, who is among thousands of Gazans left homeless by Israel's recent military assault, spends his days making bricks from mud and straw. He hopes to complete a two-bedroom house for his wife and three children on the family's small plot of land in southern Gaza in the next few weeks.

"All I want is to have walls that can shelter me and my family — and here we are," said Hamida, 32, as he packed the mud into brick molds.

Hamida's home is a sign of Gaza resourcefulness — and a striking symbol of how little has changed since Israel ended its fierce three-week military operation in January.

The offensive, meant to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks, destroyed 2,500 homes, badly damaged 1,000 others and left 30,000 in need of minor repairs, such as replacing broken windows, the U.N. estimates.



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